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08-06-2010 | Bone health | Article

Hip fracture risk highlighted among low-income communities


Free abstract

MedWire News: Future hip fracture prevention programs may be focused toward low-income communities after Swiss researchers found residents in these areas experienced higher rates of fracture at a younger age than those in high-income regions.

Thierry Chevalley (Geneva University Hospitals) and co-workers collated information on 2454 community-dwelling adults aged 50 years or older who were treated for hip fracture at Geneva University Hospital between 1991 and 2000.

The median annual household income by postal code was used to define area level of income and divide patients into socioeconomic tertiles of less than 53,170 CHF 53,170–58,678 CHF and more than 58,678 CHF . This equals US currency of less than US$ 46,128, US$ 46,128–50,913, and more than US$ 50,913, respectively.

As reported in the journal Osteoporosis International, medium-income residents had a significantly lower incidence of hip fracture than low-income residents (odds ratio=0.91).

In addition, the high-income residents sustained hip fracture an average of 1.58 years later than those in the lowest income bracket.

Age at hip fracture was also significantly influenced by gender and marital status. Married men experienced hip fracture 3 years later on average than single, widowed, or divorced men, but married women sustained hip fracture on average 4 years younger than women with other marital statuses.

“Our results indicate that area-level socioeconomic factors, notably income based on census data, influence hip fracture incidence and age occurrence in community-dwelling elderly,” Chevalley et al conclude.

“Therefore, prevention programs and direct health interventions could be focused in priority in communities with low income to possibly reduce hip fracture incidence and/or delay its occurrence.”

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Lynda Williams

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